Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Looking Back. . .

I remember where I was last time, at this point in my transplant. I try never to look back. I keep my head faced forward, but this is a part of me. Here is what happened, through my Dad. This IS REAL and UNEDITED. It's also never been read by me.
Todays update will NOT start out very upbeat. I am emailing my partial address book from a past email to hillary. We at back at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital. Hillary spiked a small fever yesterday morning at 9:30. so Hillary and Vic drove up for what we expected to be a simple exam as she had been feeling very good. She walked into the hospital for a blood test and a chest exray which has been very common.
The exray showed that she had a touch of Pnenomia in 1 lung. At 2:00 they decided that she should be admitted to be watched. They did sevral test for type of pnemia. Then they did tests for blood clots. By 3:30 they were giving oxygen. By 4:45 They were giving the maximum amount of oxygen and she was gasping for breath. By 5:30 she was in CRITICAL CONDITION. She was moved from the oncology ward to critical care at 7:00. By 9:00 she has stopped breath on her own and needed to be intubated, put on a Breathing tube directly into her lungs.
She is completely sedated and will be unconsitious for 5-7 days. They put another central line in. Those are getting much more difficult as she now has scarring tissue from the 3 other tries that got infected. She also has a feeding tube placed till she gets better.She has to be restained from moving because she is hitched to so many moniters, fluids, ventilators and iv drugs and antibiotics. They are growing the cultures from the lung infection to find out how to treat it. It's not a common pnenomia. We think it may be related to the staff infections that have nearly done her in before.
They are checking for what I think they called superbug? I'm a little out of it because when I saw her last night at 2 AM I fainted. They Are giving her Blood transfusions but they are having hugh problems matching her blood now. Apparently they need to match type and Antogins? now because she has had so many transfussions. The doctors and everyone have been Fanomanal.
LATER. . . .
This is Vic From the Hospital doing play by play. I certainly can't talk but at least i can type. The priest came in to give Hillary the last Rights! When he annointed her she sat up in bed opened her eyes and just looked at us. This was her first real movement in about 12 hours.
The doctors are now looking,Cat scan, for a blood clot, last night they ruled it out today the possibility is back. Her right side of her heart is not working. the left side is working double time. I keep getting interupted with worst news so I will say so long for now.
Hillary is amazing!! She went in last Thursday with a slight fever. All threw her appointments her fever never came back. Her heart raced to 160 and stayed there for 3days. They say it's like a marathon runners heart only staying at that pace longer than a 3-4 hour marathon. The appointment showed a small area of the lung with pneumonia. They decided to keep her for observation. (good Choice). She was sent down to the Cancer floor where she knows everybody by now. She told them she she was in just for a "buff" and only is here for the weekend spa. God was with us as she went from joking to not breathing in 15 minutes. If she had been anywhere else she would not have made it.
The next 24 hours was Hell on Earth. She was moved to critical care. She had teams of doctors working on her.. We were told on Friday that she was dying and that the only thing left that could be done was to pray. We gave her last rights.. Shortly after the anointing she sat up in bed, opened her eyes, wide open and waved to us. I think it was a "HI" wave not a good-bye wave. Within a few hours she stopped getting worst. Then slowly stabilized. They had shut down all her organs except Brain and Heart so that the oxygen would be used for those only.
We are amazingly at the point where she is back to using her own breathing, with the ventilator back-up to assist when she is too tired to breathe. Remember she ran about 10 marathons. Today the goal is to get her off the ventilator. They still have not used the feeding tube but today they should start to feed her. The anti-biotic s have seem to work. Her lungs are clearing, her heart is back to normal rate, her kidney's never shut down or only did shortly and are working well. She was removed from her sedated paralitic state yesterday. The Respiratory doctor came into the room and ask Hillary how are you doing? To all our delight and shock she opened her eyes wide and gave us /_*2 THUMBS UP.*_/ We are now filled with hope.
This is the 2nd time in her life that we were told she wouldn't make it. When she was born her birth scores were 0 and 1. 0 being no breathing, and 1 taken 5 minutes later breathing on a respirator. We were told that night by our GREAT FRIEND Dr West " not to expect anything from Hillary". I have never forgotten those words. They expected her to be brain damaged. at the least. She certainly has fooled him before. Her college grade was 3.96 She started out for a degree in communications. Decided to change when (9-11-01) the communication field dropped and Nursing was needed. She was just outside NY CITY at school that day. She changed programs and got her 4 year bachelors degree in 2.5 years. She also had Xander on the 1st weekend of spring break and was back at school the next week!! She has always amazed us. She has so many friends and connections for a person 24 years old. When you meet her you just have to feel her spirit. She has a way of just connecting with everyone she meets.
If there is anything I relay from her is that:
* Live each day to the fullest,
* Love who you are
* Love what you do,
* work hard to accomplish your goals,
* And meet great people along the path



Anonymous said...

This blog moved me to tears. I was so touched by your father's vulnerability. I cannot imagine going through such an ordeal. The moment you sat up and waved must have filled his heart to the brim with joy and hope.

Hillary, you are clearly meant to be here. You have an important purpose. God is not finished with you yet.

Stay strong, and know that you are such an inspiration to those of us who love you even though we don't really know you.


Anonymous said...

I remember this like it was yesterday. We were also at DHMC with Chelsea who wasn't about to die, but who was in very serious shape. Actually, I think she was admitted just a few days before you were discharged. Your dad's anquish was all the more real to me, as I lived it. We parents are pretty strong, but it takes years off our lives!!! So, when you get healthy, please join Chelsea in continuing to do well and give us parents a BREAK!!! :)


Anonymous said...

You have to tell the story of your birth and what you mean by Don't expect much out of Hillary. Also that update was written at day 35 of your first transplant. Today is day 34 of this one.

Signed, Shanee said...


This makes me realize and understand life is short and sometimes we just have to put it in GOD's hands. But, he is right you are a strong and amazing person. I'm glad I met you in college and am glad to be in contact with you now.